One of the best things I ever did for myself was take the Myers Briggs Personality test. Click here to take it for yourself; it only takes a few minutes and I'm not exaggerating when I say it changed my life. I believe that understanding your personality can help you clarify confusion, reach more self-acceptance, and allow you to better work with what ya got. My Myers Briggs test results explain so much (including why I take so long in the cereal aisle or insist on buying costume pieces to wear out). Shoutout to all my ENFPs out there (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception)! One of the most reflective parts about my Myers Briggs test results is that I got 100% emotional and 0% logical. Nice.
The other day my good pal (and a very special person) Mike Spector and I dove into a self-analyzing, self-reflecting conversation (is there anything better?). Talking to Mike is like writing in my journal, for many reasons. Not only does he enjoy psychological analysis as much as I do, but we also have the same personality type. When I realize something new about my personality, there's a strong chance that he has experienced the exact same thing, down to the small details. It's actually pretty freaky sometimes (including both of us putting off jury duty because we're "carefree" and it's "funny").
Side note: I'm so grateful for the people in my life that are always down for engaging in conversations about why we are the way we are & how that manifests in our day-to-day lives. I constantly am learning so much about who I am through conversations with people around me.
As Mike and I rattled off (at the speed of light, as always – and always while one of us is chewing, making it very difficult), our newest observations about ourselves and our feelings (classic ENFPs), we reached lots & lots of juicy new revelations about who we are. Kinda strange to feel like you're getting filled in on some hot gossip when, in fact, you're just learning about yourself. It's honestly my favorite kind of gossip though. I'll touch upon just one of the realizations we reached.
The buzzword that kept emerging was weight.
We found out that when we were in high school, our moms would have to fight with us to make us stop doing homework. It had to be perfect and it didn't matter how long it took. If we didn't do our homework perfectly, we wouldn't get a good grade and wouldn't go to the college of our dreams and our lives would be over. Right? This was the weight we were placing on one little homework assignment.
Now, I have a much better life/work balance (perspective is a beautiful thing), thankfully. But this idea of placing so much weight on certain situations has emerged in other areas of my life.
I think about friendships and relationships very seriously. After social situations, I find myself analyzing if everyone had fun and the same amount of fun and did everyone feel completely comfortable and completely themselves? What did other people notice about everyone else?
Mike and I thought about why we both do this. We traced it back to ENFPs' ability to connect with people quickly and meaningfully. People are drawn to ENFPs and for that reason, we may feel an obligation to ensure that every social interaction goes perfectly. What is my identity if I don't connect deeply with someone at a party? Does that mean I actually don't have the ability to connect? What's wrong with me? Again, there's that weight we're putting on a seemingly insignificant interaction. It's not up to one person to make a relationship work. It's about fit. And not every interaction is flawless.
I work for a holistic chiropractor in Amherst, Brenna Werme (Embodied Chiropractic). She gets it and gets me (just realized she's also an ENFP). The other day over tea rolls and noodles, I was explaining how I feel things so deeply. I can have a hard time letting relationships run their course (as if I have any control anyway!). I put weight on the relationship to work. I find myself forcing them and allowing them to consume me, weigh on me mentally and physically.
Brenna talked about how this can be an addiction– craving the ups and downs. "This is when it's important to be able to appreciate simple things, like the clouds or the smell of a flower."
Brenna's words were: It should be easy. If it's not easy, it's not right.
Admitting that something is too complicated or difficult requires honesty with yourself. But if you hold on to this difficult something, you are blocking all of the easy somethings that are right there for the taking. There's something easier and better and more fulfilling waiting for you.
I've been thinking: is all of the self-reflection I practice helping or hurting me? After these conversations this week, I think the self-reflection is not what is taxing. It is the weight I'm putting on particular interactions or situations or experiences in my life that can just as easily (correction: more easily) flow through my body and soul. But while the reflection enables my over-analyzing, it should be looked at as a representation of what is going on in my mind.
While it is important to feel (and that, for me, is here to stay), we can sometimes make it harder than it has to be. Living freely and simply should be easy and can be! Allow ease into your life.
What is your Myers Briggs personality type? I would LOVE to know.
And check out my playlist of my favorite self-reflection songs!